Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How Whale Song inspired artist Aynsley Nisbet and changed her life

I first heard of Aynsley Nisbet when an acquaintance of hers came up to me during the 2008 CAA CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. This friend told me that Aynsley had created a painting after reading Whale Song and being inspired. I hadn't seen the painting until today. I tracked Aynsley down online and the story she told gave me goosebumps, and I'm not too embarrassed to say that I had to wipe away the tears. She has given me permission to share this story with you, in her words.

This is Aynlsey's Whale Song "changed my life...forever"

"It was I think last summer, or maybe spring ( I really hate keeping track of time) and I was on my way home the morning after a really long night. It was windy and I felt miserable... I got off the bus downtown and walked past Audrey's bookstore. Something in the window made me stop... it was the cover of your book. Orcas are a symbol of my childhood.

I was born in Vancouver, and every weekend my father ( who had always wanted to be a marine biologist, but settled for a banker...why do some people, not do what they dream!?!!) would take me to the Aquarium. These were my favorite animals for the longest time, and still are now. They are so intimidating, fearsome but elegant... and I admit to even having a fear for them, even though I love them... I took note of the title of the book, and said to myself, "I think I need to read this book..." and then continued walking down Jasper Ave, to continue onward, down my so-called destructive life path.

The summer went by, and I was still miserable. Bitter with anger and resentment of my past, and the people in it. Me even. I hated myself... who I was every second...and was so unsure of my future. One night, after my birthday in October, I thought of the cover of Whale Song, and decided to google it. Read what it was about... I fell more in love with what it's meaning could be to me.

I decided to take my biggest canvas, which stands 5 feet tall, and 4 feet wide, and put it aside... I wrote on the side... "Whale Song". I started drawing ideas, but nothing was complete...obviously, because I needed to read the book. I then got a job at Chapters, and the first thing I did with my first paycheck was buy it. I also worked at a photolab in St. Albert, and it was the type of job, where it was so slow, and all we really did was read... and I always worked alone. I worked there that day after I got the book, and I started reading...

When I was little, and we moved from Vancouver up to Fort Nelson, BC, and the long roadtrip up the Alaska Highway, and all the tall trees... were exactly how you described the initial part of Sarah's journey. My father always wanted to name me Sarah, but my mom liked Aynsley better...haha, which is alright because I feel more special to have the unique name! :) Anyways, I spent a lot of time indulging in native culture when I lived in the north and became very connected to the Wolf and Raven... I found some sort of peace, and place in my world, at which I always had a hard time finding because I was always the weird kid...

Well the further I read into this book that night in the lab, I couldn't stop. I actually told the electronics department that the machines were broken and I was fixing them, just so I could finish it. I cried the whole time I read it... Don't worry, these were tears of self- realization and happiness... a sort of passion and emotion I needed. A sense of forgiveness, ultimately leading to my freedom... My life over just a year ago, was not so great. I was not myself... I didn't paint. It was awful.

You're book changed my life, in ways I can't even explain... If it wasn't your gift, the idea that forgiveness sets you free... I would still be angry, hateful, resentful... all that is negative. I have learned to forgive everything that has happened in life, and now, I have become what I have always dreamed... Happy, a successful artist... at peace with myself... determined...the list could go on. I then finished drawing and painting "Whale Song"... which sits, well hangs on my wall in my Mother's basement...

Well, I think I lied when I said it was going to be a relatively short message... but I needed you to know that your wisdom and your talent as an author is greatly appreciated, and I just want to thank you for all you have done for me... helping setting me free, like a whale... in a deep and endless sea ♥ ...

Thank you so much, for writing the book that changed my life... forever.

Aynsley :)"

I will be giving away a framed print of her painting..."Whale Song" (see below).

To enter, leave a comment below and your email addy. CONTEST CLOSED.

Please go to Aynsley's "Whale Song" painting and leave her a comment beneath the pic:

To view all of Aynsley's paintings, please visit her photo album on Facebook:

You can also learn more about Aynsley Nisbet at:

Thank you, Aynsley, for allowing me to share this. I am sure the Universe will repay you threefold.

And now...Aynsley's painting inspired by my novel Whale Song...

"Whale Song"
by Aynsley Nisbet

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif


Anonymous said...

gorgeous painting!

Cheryl Tardif said...

I haven't announced the contest details but please leave a comment and be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact the winner.

The winner will receive a signed, matted, framed print of "Whale Song" by Aynsley Nisbet.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Unknown said...

All I can say is WOW.

Anonymous said...

Blows me right out of the water. No pun intended. It's a truly inspired painting.

kai said...

What a beautiful story and an equally beautiful painting. Aynsley, I'm so happy that Cheryl's book moved you in such a way and moved you to start painting again. You're an incredibly talented artist and it would be a shame if the world didn't see your work.

Anonymous said...

With a kind of ancient energy and wisdom, your picture expresses the movements and colours of life and love, magic, and does your story.

Anonymous said...

(Sorry Cheryl, I can't get my Blogger sign-in to work)

What an amazing journey Whale Song has taken! I know Aynsley feels like her life has changed, but I imagine Cheryl, that hearing this has changed yours! To touch someone so meaningfully with your writing is truly a gift. And you've both been touched, I bet. Kudos to Whale Song! And to the painting Whale Song too-it's stunning!

rfd45 said...

A very inspirational story. I can relate with her comment why people don't follow their dreams. I am starting to follow mine by picking up the pen and start writing. I've wanted to write since I was a kid and was discouraged from doing so. As an adult I no longer have to rely on what others think of my dreams. I know realize I can just pursue them.

I think the painting is very inspirational and one can certainly tell Aynsley put her heart and soul into it.

For Aynsley to come out of a slump and create a wonderful piece of work like that is truly inspirational. And is a testament to the power of the written word.

Koo dos for Cheryl and Koo dos for Aynsley.

Signed Richard Dobbin